Decanting is the process of introducing oxygen to wine to essentially ‘open up’ the wine’s flavours.
It’s all about letting your wine breathe! Exposing the wine to the air releases the characteristics that have been cooped up just waiting to burst out and be enjoyed!
It’s important to note that only red wines should be decanted. Why? Because red wines are processed with their skins on, and develop what are called ‘tannins’ – those somewhat tarte mouth-puckering flavours you will be familiar with! Decanting your red wine really helps to smoothe out the tannins. With white wine, you’ll find swirling it in your glass will oxygenate it quite enough for the characteristics to come out. Don’t swirl for too long though or you might lose flavour!
The best and most effective way to decant your wine is to pour it slowly from the bottle into a jug or decanter from a height of a few inches. The key is, the more oxygen your wine is exposed to, the better (that’s of course as long as you plan on drinking it all!) Let your wine sit in the decanter for around an hour.
Taking the time to decant wine will bring the flavours to the fore and enhance your enjoyment of that wine.